I just have to share our kiwi version of the “12 days of Christmas” although I did struggle to find photos except for the pukeko and the ponga tree! I did have some kumara in the pantry but I cooked them for dinner before I remembered to take the photo.
A Pukeko in a Ponga Tree (Written by Kingi Ihaka in 1981)
(The 12 Days of Christmas)
On the first day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
A pukeko in a ponga tree
On the second day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
And a pukeko in a ponga tree
On the third day of Christmas...
and so on, until...
On the twelfth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Twelve piupius swinging
Eleven haka lessons
Ten juicy fish heads
Nine sacks of pipis
Eight plants of puha
Seven eels a swimming
Six pois a twirling
Five - big - fat - pigs !
Four huhu grubs
Three flax kits
And a pukeko in a ponga tree!
Over the last two days
We have had weather in all ways
Horizontally and vertically the wind did blow
so too the rain did fall.
Slips and slumps
Then came the high tide
The creek overflowed
The lawns became a lake
It was more than we could take
Rivers were in flood
Trees ripped out
Bridges were gone
Everywhere was sodden mud
Damaged houses subsided in landslips galore
Driveways slipped down the hills
Ditches and drains could hold no more
Householders now face huge clean up bills
A 100 year event was in store
350 mm rainfall in only two days
I cannot remember such a deluge before
Climate change is definitely underway.
And yet, just a month or two ago
Another weather event had also been described just so.
Someone can’t count the days or the years
This weather event will surely all end in tears.
The power went out… and then it came back
BUT THEN… Shock and horror
The internet went down.
Our digital connection was gone.
I was in disconnect despair
Rain fade stopped the tv feed
We had no news updates
or weather warnings to heed.
Looking out the window was all we could do
Yes - it was still raining and blowing too
Thank goodness for notebooks and pens
so I could write this plea to the weather gods,
"Please stop the rain, I promise to be good
Its just too wet in this neighbourhood"
Suddenly I caught a brief glimpse of moonlight
peeping out from the clouds of the night
Perhaps the wind is blowing the clouds away.
Is the rain going to stop at last?
The third morning dawned bright with light
Of the wind and rain there was no sound nor sight
It was over but it had left behind
A devastating plight
We walked to see what damage had been done
although we could have just swum
The ground was awash with muddy water
amidst slippery piles of clay and stone
At last there were helicopters up in the air
Assessing the damage to the isolated grounds
Diggers were ferried by barge to the Sounds
No traffic getting through by road.
Maybe they will soon fix the power and phones
To make sure people are safe in their homes
By 5pm that day the phone started pinging
"Are you alright” the messages were asking
"Yes", we replied thankfully though many are not
At least we still have homes safe from the flood
Our thoughts are with those much less fortunate than us
As evacuations end and the big clean up begins.
So until the next time Mother Nature intervenes
to send us another reminder of climate change
Lets hope we all listen and do our bit
to keep this planet healthy and fit.
From the ocean to the mountains, from coast to coast. Just a few photos of the great outdoors of NZ where I love to visit with my camera.
Lets start at the Southern Alps which is in the rugged mountain range that spans from from North to South of the South Island. Although climbing mountains is not my thing I did struggle up to the Tasman Glacier viewpoint – and saw ICEBERGS.
Moving westwards towards Arthurs Pass is this stunning landscape.
Venturing a little further North on an inland road we stopped over at Iveagh Bay at Lake Brunner
Heading to the top West corner of the South Island is Karamea – which also provides a perfect opportunity for a West Coast sunset.
Further down the coast is Punakaiki, famous for its blowholes and rugged beaches
Time for an overnight at Fox River to meet friends and eat pancakes (what else) before heading East through the Kaikoura mountains and onto the East coast.
Finally we headed back up North to the Marlborough Sounds and over the top to French Pass at the top of the South Island where Pelorus Jack once roamed the sea.
Home again to another silvery moon and to hunker down at home for the winter months. The great outdoors can wait a while until the weather warms up again.
Wind and waves have worked their magic and stacked layers of limestone pancakes upon which to feast our eyes.
One of my favourite geological formations to visit is the Pancake rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki, West Coast NZ. I never get tired of viewing the impressive results of wind, wave and seaspray on the limestone formations of Dolomite Point.
The Pancake Rocks and blowholes
“Each ‘pancake’ consists of a layer of limestone layer made up of tiny shell fragments, separated from the next pancake by a thin layer of siltstone. Thousands of years of rain, wind and sea spray have etched the softer siltstone into nearly-horizontal grooves, and rounded the edges of the limestone layers, which together look like giant layers of pancakes.
Dolomite Point has a maze of underground passages and large open caverns which face the sea. When there’s a big swell, and the ocean surges into these caverns, water is forced into the passages. Looking for an escape route it follows the passages to the surface. As high tide approaches huge geysers of spray burst skywards. When there’s a big sea running the blowholes are spectacular.“
On this day the tide was high and huge waves were rolling in. Luck was on my side.
I made many images to try to capture that big geyser of spray. Many moments were spent patiently watching and waiting with my camera at the ready in hopeful expectation that the next surge will bring forth that loud whoosh as the waves rise up through the underground passages and burst high above the pancake rock formations.
Delighting in seeing the power of both the wind and the salt spray trickling back down through the pancake layers. It is fascinating indeed to see the weathering of the rocks still in action as it has been for thousands of years, creating the astounding formations we see today.
I first saw these spectacular limestone pancakes more than fifty years ago. Then we revisited them with our young children many times and yes, this was way before the area was upgraded with safety fences and sealed pathways. We allowed our kids to explore those tracks between the layered rocks. Whatever was I thinking?
Looking down into the Devils cauldron ( as it was known then) it is quite mesmerizing watching the force of the waves. Not the place to fall into. Those crumbling cliffs are quite slippery with the constant sea spray. And yet, it is indeed captivating to watch the swirling wave action. I was too preoccupied watching where my feet were stepping to take a photo of the devils cauldron this day.
Back home I finally got time to do some editing, here are the results of my weathering topic for the Sunday Stills ‘weather’ week. – It could also be for last week’s ‘water’ theme I guess for which I missed the deadline.
We finished off these few days by parking over at Fox River freedom parking site where the local “Rusty Cup’ coffee cart served us real pancakes with layers of bacon and banana with lashings of maple syrup for breakfast. Almost breakfast in bed – lol. On a side note, I caught up with my work colleague from a few years back – together we had ‘weathered’ many rough and tough work days so it was lovely to catch up and share memories as we ate the pancakes and drank the strong coffee.
All that was left to say is “Pass the maple syrup please!”
In keeping with my ‘Life’s for Living – Every.Single.Day’ plan, today we went on an adventure. The skies were cloudy although the weather report was for a sunny day. Intrepidly, we launched the boats and off we puttered across the Sounds. Rounding the point we encountered choppy waves so we headed behind the mussel farms seeking smooth waters.
A couple of splashes of rain sprinkled upon us then suddenly it stopped and out came the sun. We cruised in and out the mussel farms, around the bays and coves, past a shag colony and a couple of rustic boat sheds.Every man and his kid were out fishing. Family fun in and on the water. Kids were swimming, some were paddling kayaks, and others were just strolling on the little beaches. It was just like Camp Granada.
Aaah- summer living in the great outdoors.
Eventually we arrived at our destination – Fernside is a cute little bay with a picnic table. Our friends had bought a bottle of bubbly wine. That was a nice touch which went well with our corned beef and mustard sandwiches. We chatted and relaxed in the sunshine. Along came a weka and its baby. It appeared that they loved the cupcake wrappers and the cucumber slices. A couple of apricots too and their feast was done. And so was ours. The bubbly wine was supped, the sandwiches were eaten.
The tide turned and it was time for us to return. Time to pull up the anchor and start the motor. Oops! The motor was flooded. It wouldn’t start. First rule of boating- always start the motor before the anchor is hoisted. Hmmm. Minutes later, the motor burst into life and blue smoke belched across the sea. We were homeward bound.
The choppy waves had calmed but then we rounded Putananui point. On the home stretch we had to leave the lee shore and splash our way across the Mahau Sound. Salty wet splashed spectacles and soaked to the skin, we arrived back at the beach.
Within a half hour, the boat was washed, the motor flushed and the boat , trailer and tractor were back in our own boatshed.